50 years of ping pong diplomacy – any lesson for our era?
In April 1972, The United States hosted a delegation of Chinese table tennis players. This opened the door to political reconciliation between the USA and China.
Ping-pong diplomacy, which is the use of sport for peace, was entered diplomatic dictionaries.
It’s interesting to note that ping pong diplomacy was initiated by a ‘mistake’. At the 1971 World Championships in Nagoya Glenn Cowan, a US player, missed his bus and instead jumped on the vehicle carrying the Chinese team.
After some initial hesitation, he began to talk with the Chinese players.
This led to the 1971 visit of US players to China and the 1972 visit of Chinese players.
The ping-pong diplomacy coincided in advance thinking from both China, and USA establishments to enhance mutual relations.
Source: South China Morning Post